Printed books usually outlive bookstores and the publishers who brought them out. They sit around, demanding nothing, for decades. That’s one of their nicest qualities – their brute persistence. Nicholson Baker
And that’s why we have independent used bookstores.
For the past few months the Eat My Words Bookstore has provided the literary setting for Voices of Northeast, a weekly series of video interviews with bookish folk who enliven the literary arts community of Northeast Minneapolis. The novelists, booksellers, teachers, poets, publishers, storytellers and other interviewees on Voices are seated comfortably in the “parlor” in the back of the bookshop where they are framed by books, books and more books…… Curious viewers are now inquiring about the welcoming set itself! Glad you asked –Eat My Words is a feast to be shared.
For viewers and visitors alike Eat My Words offers a literary banquet, set in the midst of Northeast’s vibrant arts neighborhood. The cozy shop teases the literary palate with irresistible, sometimes sadly neglected, occasionally weird volumes. The shelves teem with books, pre-owned, even pre-read, at least pre-thumbed. The books exude some irresistible power that absorbs the mind and time of the casual browser who may have dropped in for a snack but finds himself pulling up to the table for the feast of printed words.
Proprietor Scott VanKoughnett plays host to the feast of tomes, many of which once graced his private collection of used, rare and antique books representative of every taste, time and facet of the Dewey Decimal System. The overloaded shelves are conveniently searchable while overstuffed chairs offer the browser a chance to sample in comfort.
Acknowledging that shoppers do not live by good reads alone, VanKoughnett, who has also been known to practice law in the area, offers a tempting banquet of bookish events. There are readings, often collaborative readings, on specific themes, special occasions, signings with visiting authors, and when the Muse drops alights.
And then there are the “Food for Thought” idea forums, what Van Koughnett has dubbed “backwords book clubs.” Instead of everyone reading the same book, participants respond to the same topic “through whatever media that resonate with them.” It’s not the tired “book of the month” or the tasty “fruit of the month” but the “topic of the month.” The get-togethers (aka salons) meet on the first Friday evening of the month, each focused on a word theme – March 4 the theme is “Solitude” – April 1 it’s Spirit. ” On May 6 the theme is “Dream” which will get you through till June 3 when it’s “Pride”. All free and open, of course. (facebook.com/foodforthoughtideaforum”
Learn more about the Voices interviews in an earlier blog post. https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/voices-of-northeast-minneapolis-captured-and-shared-on-video/ To appreciate the gourmet treat that Eat My Words offers, you gotta take time to visit. It’s at 1228 2nd Street NE, corner of 12th and 2nd Streetss, just a few steps from the iconic Grainbelt Brewery, near Marshall and Broadway in artsy Northeast Minneapolis.
To view an extended Voices of Northeast discussion with Scott, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tumRr08qkrc